She Tried It! black|Up Countouring Stick
Disclaimer: A makeup artist I am not and this is my first time trying contouring; nevertheless I was very happy with the job I did with black|Up’s contouring stick my first time out the gate.
If you’re not familiar, black|Up is an upscale Paris-based beauty brand specifically created for women of color, and this year the French line finally found a home in Sephora stores in the U.S and, of course, online. I’ve always been interested in the concept of contouring, just to see how the results would differ from my normal day-to-day makeup look, and because this brand has a guarantee of a 100% non-ashy finish, I felt like this would would be a good product to test my skills with. So, before taping the latest episode of Did Y’all See?, I decided to put my skills to work.
I chose to try contouring before we filmed the segment because I’ve read the numerous criticisms from world-renowned makeup artists like Bobbi Brown telling everyday consumers they need to chill on the contouring trend which was really meant to be used on individuals who’ll be on camera and under professional lighting. On that particular day I fit the criteria so I decided to give it a whirl and do my best to follow the instructions on the back of the contouring stick box which told me to highlight and shadow my face as I did in the pic above.
To be honest, my precision was a bit off and I’m not a perfectionist when it comes to applying my base so after I put on foundation, I took the light end of the CONT02 stick and ran it down the middle of my forehead, center of my nose, and middle of my chin before swiping again above my brow bones and cheek bones. I then ran the dark end of the stick underneath my cheek bones and above the light part of my accented brow bones, right by the temple. Later I also ran the dark end on either side of my nose (not shown).
To blend the lines, I used a Beauty Blender sponge and dabbed the edges of the color into my skin, using one side of the sponge for the light color and the other side for the dark so that the center of my face stayed illuminated and the outer edges darker. I then set my face with a mineralized finishing powder (not black|Up) and completed my look with eye shadow, a little blush, and lipstick. FYI, to outline my brows I used black|Up’s dual eye and lip liner which quickly became a fave because even though it’s a hard pencil, it has a smooth glide, not unlike gel and liquid liners, without the mess.
Overall, I was very happy with my results. Although the makeup didn’t look or feel caked on, I definitely wouldn’t wear so much product every day. Still, for special occasions or on-camera opportunities I would definitely spend the extra three minutes to add a few low lights and high lights to my face. The convenience of the stick can’t be beat when you think about other brands with contouring pallets that require multiple brushes to apply and more sophisticated application techniques. I also can’t wait to try this look in the summer so the sun can bounce off the various points of light on my face. If you want to step up your makeup look, I definitely suggest giving this stick a try.